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LONDON: Britain's economy rebounded by a record 7.5 percent last year on easing Covid curbs, staging a partial recovery from a pandemic-driven historic collapse, official data showed Friday.

Gross domestic product had tumbled by 9.4 percent in 2020 due to the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and public health restrictions, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added in a statement.

The UK economy increased by 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter despite the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant, matching its expansion in the third quarter, the Office for National Statistics also revealed in a statement.

Gross domestic product, however, dipped 0.2 percent in December on fallout from the rapid spread of Omicron.

"GDP fell back slightly in December as the Omicron wave hit, with retail and hospitality seeing the biggest impacts," said ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan.

"However, these were partially offset by increases in the Test and Trace service and vaccination programmes."

Activity held at its pre-pandemic level in February due to increased health sector activity.

BoE expected to raise rates further to combat inflation

"Despite December's setback, GDP grew robustly across the fourth quarter as a whole with the NHS (National Health Service), couriers and employment agencies all helping to support the economy," added Morgan.

"Overall, GDP in December was in line with its level in February 2020, before Covid-19 struck, while in the fourth quarter as a whole, it was slightly below that of quarter four in 2019."

British finance minister Rishi Sunak welcomed news of the country's partial recovery from the emergency health crisis.

"The economy has been remarkably resilient," he said in a statement, noting it was boosted by the government's vast stimulus measures.

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